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General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening 2 now?
« Last post by Madiel on Today at 03:38:44 AM »
Now, first listen to Pejacevic's piano concerto.

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Bartók: The Wooden Prince
New York PO/Boulez
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General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening 2 now?
« Last post by Madiel on Today at 03:32:46 AM »
Earlier today:



Somewhat mixed feelings about this, which I had queued up to listen to after it was on a list of recommended recordings somewhere.

The Four Last Songs have a lot more forward drive than the only version I really know, Janowitz/Karajan. I've no idea which performance is more typical and wasn't entirely decided what I thought of the change.

As for the piano lieder... well, Damrau's voice is fairly pleasing, but in some songs her pianist, Helmut Deutsch makes some very intrusive breaths and growls that I could've done without. The first piano lieder is one of the worst, with a long introduction and plenty of his noises. It's really not a great first impression.
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Vaughan Williams: 'Three Portraits from the England of Elizabeth' (1955)
This is a particularly poetic version of this late work. Some sections have a magical quality, like the contemporaneous Symphony No.8:
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The Diner / Re: USA Politics (redux)
« Last post by Herman on Today at 03:11:58 AM »
Those testimonies in the Michigan hearings yesterday were intriguing.

I cannot tell if these were merely anecdotal or whether they pointed to systematic attempts by observers from the Republican party, to intimidate and harrass the volunteers counting the ballots. Getting too close, challenging every single ballot, deliberately going without a mask and shouting and breathing on the people counting the ballots.

There was this kid from UM Law School, who I had expected (based on his preppy hale looks) to be a Republican, who talked about this observer who shouted at him that he wasn't there to observe the law, but to do what the party had told him.

I'd like some more reporting on this behavior. If this kind of low jinks happened all over the country.
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GMG News / Re: Missing Members
« Last post by knight66 on Today at 03:07:11 AM »
Thank you both of you. He was one of the handful of close friends I have made here and it is very hard to see that diminished in this way. He had a lot of talents, I guess his public memorial will be his name on the translation of the Sibelius diaries from Swedish to Finnish. An apt memorial.

Mike
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Composer Discussion / Re: Max Reger(1873-1916)
« Last post by Herman on Today at 02:54:21 AM »
at the mo I would agree [with Andre's preceding comment, preferring the Hiller Variations], since the Hillers have been in my cd-player for more than a week now.

I love the  as if classical-ness of the Mozart Variations  -  with, mind you, a whole bit of churning Wagnerian chromaticism in the slow variation  -  and perhaps the concluding fugue is just a tad better.

However the Hillers have this same wild, crazy deep-in-the-night sound world as the piano concerto. They are op 100 and op 101.

The orchestration in both of these variation suites is just do die for. No triangle or other funny sound effects, just the technical mastery of mixing instrument groups and dividing instrument groups infinitely. Sometimes all the string groups are divided up, and you have four different lines in the violins alone.

I'm not "responding to self" because I find myself so interesting, I was actually responding to Andre.

There may be some tiredness in the works near the end. For instance I find those big orchestral Lieder (opp 136 and 144) not too hopping. It's like Reger is trying to tone himself down in those works.

There is part of this in the Mozart Variations, too, but it's like he can't keep his true nature down, and the last variation (molto sostenuto) is just deeply chromatic and in the concluding fugue the sound world gets that wild woodsy character familiar from the Piano Cto and the Hiller Variations. Even though there are nog trombones or tuba in the Mozart Variations. Officially it's scored for "small orchestra"  -  though you'd never know this while listening.

The Mozart fugue's material is perhaps better than in the Hillers, and the concluding pages with the horns / trumpets in a celestial waltz (in 6/8) knocks it out of the park for me.
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General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening 2 now?
« Last post by pjme on Today at 02:48:32 AM »


Enescu: Pièces impromptues op. 18.
The last two movements (Choral and Carillon nocturne) form a ca. 12 mins. fantasmagorical descent into the night.
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Great Recordings and Reviews / Re: Op 55
« Last post by Handelian on Today at 02:45:30 AM »
Before we start to invade this topic entirely with a Mengelberg debate: I think he was punished for good reason. He was a coward during an extremely dark time. He betrayed his Jewish musicians and he betrayed his love for (and former friendship with) Mahler. But, as soprano Jo Vincent once stated in an interview, he also openly said to Seyss-Inquart, when they first met: "so you are the man who wants me to fire my Jewish musicians?" Which he eventually did, by the way. (Jo Vincent stopped performing after 1943, if I recall correctly.)
Again: I don't think that Mengelberg was a supporter of the Nazi ideology. He was pro-German, yes, and he was a spineless opportunist.
But he wasn't and isn't "everybody's favourite Dutch Nazi conductor".
And Paul van Kempen, a Dutch conductor - and a very good one - who kept on conducting in Germany during the war, and no doubt bowed for and was photographed with regional and local Nazis, was punished much less after the war. He lost his chances of becoming Mengelberg's successor in Amsterdam, but he was still allowed to conduct in the Netherlands and to make recordings.

I think it’s very easy for those of us who were not in the war and he didn’t suffer in any way to make judgements on the attitude of those who suffered through the war. It’s also interesting how you appear to be far more concerned with people like Megelberg rather than the millions who were ill treated by the Nazis. I’m just writing a piece on a Dutch woman who was brutally murdered by the Nazis. It doesn’t give one a lot of sympathy
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Opera and Vocal / Re: What Opera Are You Listening to Now?
« Last post by Tsaraslondon on Today at 02:38:27 AM »
One of my favourite sets. The plot is tangled, but the music is great. I did not know this Verdi until this set came out. I do now have an earlier on with Gobbi, Christoff and de los Angeles, I listen to it for those three voices, but Abbado provides a more dramatic performance and his cast is very good.

Mike

Same here, Mike. I got to know the opera from this superb Abbado recording, which has now become something of a classic. Later on I bought the Santini for the performances of those three great singers (Gobbi, Christoff and De Los Angeles) but the Abbado is the better all round performance.

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